I learned so much from the book Eat Dirt and began to incorporate what I learned into my diet. Then one day I was watching a video clip of the Dr. Oz show and saw a segment with the doctor that wrote a book called ‘Gutbliss’. I loved the name and kept watching. Dr. Oz was helping the audience with bloat issues and this doctor, Dr. Robynne Chutkan, gave practical advice that she herself followed to achieve gutbliss. After watching the segment, I knew that this was a book I needed and bought it for my Kindle immediately. In Dr. Robynne’s book, she provides insight on causes of digestive issues such as bloating, discomfort, constipation etc., and she also provides a 10 day plan to “Ban bloat, flush toxins and dump digestive baggage!” There are so many diets available and so much information about what are the correct foods to eat for different digestive problems that I began feeling overwhelmed. As I began to read this book I got so excited. Here’s a woman doctor that has experienced a lot of the symptoms that I have been feeling and gives practical advice on how to overcome them. Before I go into the 10 Day Plan, here are some tips that Dr. Robynne offers in her book which coincide with her plan. 1. ‘Eat dark green vegetables.’ Dr Robynne suggests eating a head of romaine lettuce or 3 stalks of kale each day because of their high vitamin C content and because dark green vegetables promote healthy skin! I’m not the biggest fan of kale, so if you’re like me, try spinach or baby bok choy. I love sautéing baby bok choy in a little olive oil with garlic. Delicious! Just sauté it enough for the leaves to get dark and then take it off of the heat so it doesn’t become too soggy. 2. ‘Eat foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids’: dark green veggies, raw walnuts, wild salmon, flax seeds and free-range eggs, are some of the foods that Dr. Robynne talks about. I eat 1 free-range egg a day in the morning with zucchini and onions. My sister-in-laws idea and it tastes so good! For the flax seeds I use them in a smoothie. I bought flax seeds a while back but they were whole and couldn’t do much with them. My fiancé sweetly put them in a small grinder and ground them up for me and now I just put 1 tablespoon in my smoothie and I don’t even taste it but I reap the benefits immensely. I will be getting into more detail about my diet plan later on in this blog. 3. ‘Eat foods rich in vitamin A, carotenoids(fruits/vegetables rich in color) and healthy fats’: Vitamin A, Dr. Robynne explains is a very important nutrient for healthy skin and cells. She also explains that if you can include spinach, carrots and sweet potatoes in your diet you are definitely getting vitamin A and carotenoids. 4. ‘Cut down on sugar’. This is a big one for me as I have such a sweet tooth! I especially like dessert after dinner so my fiancé found a dairy free and soy free coconut frozen dessert made from the company SO Delicious, (women are supposed to say away from soy because soy contains isoflavones that can have effects that are similar to estrogen) and 1/2 c. has only 15g of sugar! Here is their website: sodeliciousdairyfree.com 5. Don’t add salt’: Adding salt can make you feel bloated due to water retention. Also, Dr. Robynne reminds us to read labels and watch out for excess salt as we should try to aim for less than 1000 milligrams or less each day. 6. ‘Avoid gluten‘: The grains that we eat today are just not what they used to be and that’s why we see so many people suffering from the effects of gluten. Dr. Robynne describes the different symptoms that can come from the effects of gluten include: ‘hair loss, rashes and bloating’. She says to try and go 6 weeks without eating gluten and see if you’re symptoms subside. Worth a try! 7. Cut out alcohol: Alcohol can age a person, Dr. Robynne says, cause bloating and blotchy skin and can also make your hair fall out! 8. Limit dairy: Dairy can be constipating and is a cause of bloating. I know with me, when I cut down my dairy intake, I felt a world of difference in my stomach! After eating dairy I would immediately get bloaty and uncomfortable. Limiting dairy has been a huge change for me and it’s a lot easier than I thought it would be. 9. Last but not least: Hydrate!! I used to drink hardly any water during the day until I read this book. I was always worried about having to go to the bathroom too often, especially at night! But after reading this book I realized that one of the major causes of bloating and constipation is not drinking enough water! My fiancé had been on me for so long about drinking water and how important it is for overall health but I didn’t listen until now, and I am so happy I finally did! Now, I drink water all day. I keep a cup filled with water and a couple of lemon squirts near me all day and I drink constantly and I don’t care about getting up during the night because I understand the importance of it and this change has helped me tremendously! Also, after about a week or so your body gets used to the water and you don’t have to go to the bathroom as ofter. According to the Mayo Clinic, men are supposed to drink about 13 cups a day and women 9 cups. I probably average between 5-6 cups a day and its been great. This is the end of today’s blog! Check out my next blog where I will give you Dr. Robynne’s 10 day plan for gutbliss, tips for shopping and a daily eating plan! Come back soon!